Friends include Max Skidmore, the UMKC professor who chairs a committee that gave Gilliland the Policy Studies Organization's 2002 Hubert H. Humphrey Award.
Enemies pass resolutions of "no confidence," which UMKC's School of Biological Sciences did, voting 33-4 with two abstentions.
Gilliland's purported resemblance to Triple H -- a U.S. senator, vice president, Democratic presidential candidate and champion of civil rights -- won Gilliland a trip to Boston last month, where she was named the Policy Studies Organization's "most outstanding public-policy practitioner."
She'd stuck up for political science professor Harris Mirkin over the past year after he became the reviled target of family-values grandstanders by suggesting that older children are not always harmed by sex with adults.
"You have heard of some recent challenges we faced ... pursuing ideas, in this case, an unpopular and distasteful one, came under attack," Gilliland says in a press release. "A university is a rare and remarkable sanctuary for the expression of those ideas and for the pursuit of truth."
Meanwhile, the biological sciences faculty feels like its pursuit of truth is being sodomized as Gilliland tries to dissolve the department.
"The constitutional rights of faculty in SBS -- the right to criticize; the right to hold unpopular beliefs; the right to protest; the right of independent thought -- have been threatened," says the faculty's August 30 resolution, issued the same day as the award.
As it turns out, Gilliland's Hubert H. Humphrey Award was not the most coveted such award given out by political science eggheads that week in Boston. The real HHH award is dispensed annually by the American Political Science Association, a group of 13,500 political scientists who soldier on despite competition (and sometimes cooperation) from the Policy Studies Organization, which split off in 1970. The APSA's Humphrey went to a somewhat higher-profile leader: Governor Parris Glendening of Maryland.